A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Les Dames D'Escoffier

A few nights ago I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Brock the founder of Les Dames D'Escoffier, and the person to whom this book is dedicated. Les Dames is a group of professional women in the food industry. The women may be food writer, chefs, merchants or other professions all relating to food and hospitality.

Carol was the Sunday food editor at The New York Daily News. Meeting Carol was quite a treat because she is in a word, inspirational. Carol brought forth original pictures and photos of Julia Child as well as many other chefs and cooks. Carol explained to us all, in case we had forgotten who Auguste Escoffier was. His accomplishments included designing safer kitchens, establishing funds for chefs, exploring canning as well as encouraging better seasonal produce.

The book, is a wonderful collection of recipes from the groups all women membership. Women who influence all types of cooking(not just French) are included, such as Gale Gand, Dorie Greenspan, Alice Waters to name a few. The recipes collected for the book are eclectic in style and fun to look through. Most also seem simple enough to prepare, so if you don't have a copy already you might want to pick one up at your local bookstore.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pots de Crème- great for valentines day...
Makes about 16-18 small pots or 6-8 ramekins

The cute little pots for pots de crème are available at most cookware store or online. They are also great for serving small portions of eggs.

3 cups heavy cream (you can substitute 1 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 1/2 cup milk if you must)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks (to use extra whites make a soufflé or egg white omelet)
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325

Into a non stick sauce pan, add the cream and vanilla. Heat mixture enough to bring to just below a boil then remove from heat (add optional flavorings here if using- you can also strain the mixture at this point if necessary) set aside to cool to closer to room temp.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks and sugar on high for a minute or until the eggs turn a lighter yellow. Slowly pour in the cream mixture and stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into pots de crème molds or ramekins. Place in a large roasting dish (I place the roasting dish in the oven before adding water) and fill the dish with warm water until the water is about halfway up the sides of the pots. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until set and jiggly. The time will depend on the size of the pots.

Variations- add to the warm cream 3 tablespoons of roasted espresso, the citrus zest from one lemon, lime or orange (which you might want to strain out after it has infused its flavor) or a bit of chocolate or nutella for flavor.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lorie’s Chicken with Pinot Grigio and Portabella mushrooms

1 Tablespoon of olive oil
4 Tablespoons of Flour
½ Teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 (3 oz) Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 cups of thinly sliced baby portabella mushrooms (or other mushrooms)
1 cup pinot Grigio
3 tablespoons of parsley, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh basil roughly torn /or minced
1 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and crushed

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in shallow container or zip lock bag- dredge or toss the chicken breasts in the flour to coat.

Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and set it aside. To the skillet add your mushrooms, wine, parsley, basil and garlic; them simmer on high heat until the liquid ahs reduced by ½-1/3 cup or about 4-6 minutes.

Discarded the garlic and add the chicken back in to re-warm, then serve.